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More Than 130 Internet Networks Still Out From Katrina

Two weeks after Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf coast, many local Internet networks remain offline, a report says. Major Internet networks, however, were disrupted only briefly.

Gregg Keizer

September 13, 2005

2 Min Read

Two weeks after Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf coast, 134 local Internet networks remain offline, a report issued Tuesday revealed. Major Internet networks and connections, however, were disrupted only briefly, if that.

According to the report by Renesys, a Manchester, N. H.-based firm that monitors Internet routing traffic, over 100 networks in Louisiana have not yet reappeared on the Internet. Mississippi and Alabama each have more than a dozen networks still down.

The regional impact by the hurricane and subsequent flooding in New Orleans was substantial, said Renesys' researchers. At one point on August 29, the day the storm made landfall, a third of Mississippi's Internet capacity was offline.

Restoration, however, began quickly, and by the morning of August 30, hundreds of networks had been brought back into operation. Relatively few, however, were back online because of disaster recovery, co-location, or relocation services, said Renesys, a conclusion that jibes with a pre-Katrina survey done by AT&T that found a third of American firms without any contingency plans.

That initial effort, however, stalled once the easy-to-restore networks were back up. "With a significant portion of the city of New Orleans under water and without reliable power or transportation, many Louisiana-based outages will not be fixed for the foreseeable future," Renesys said in its report.

The national and global Internet picture was much rosier because the affected area wasn't a major Internet crossroads. The largest fiber optic link between Houston and Atlanta, for instance, runs north of New Orleans, in the Baton Rouge area, or even farther north.

"We saw no significant impacts on global Internet routing [during the hurricane]," said the report. "[And we] don't anticipate additional impacts on domestic or global Internet routing outside the Gulf Coast region."

The complete Renesys report can be downloaded in PDF format from the company's Web site.

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